Today, I want to talk about my grandfather who was a soldier in 1914.
My grandfather was born in 1894, and did his national service in 1914. He passed the physical examination as a Grade One conscript (in the Japanese military at that time). He was chosen to be a imperial guard whose duty was to protect the Emperor's castle (the Imperial Palace) from attack. It was a very honorable to be a imperial guard at that time, because very limited number of men, who are well built, healthy and have good family members and relatives, were chosen from nearby villages.
When I was a child, my grandpa often told me and my brothers the story about his national service.
My granny had gotten tired of his talk :-)
Japan declared war against the German Empire on 23 August, 1914 under the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and participated in World War I. My grandpa had stayed in Tokyo all the time of his national service except military exercise at the foot of Mt. Fuji.
I recorded his talk about his military service on tape several years before his death. At his memorial service all of my family members heard his voice nostalgically.
I found two photographs taken at his national service in a small drawer of his cabinet, about 10 years ago. One of them was supposed to have been taken in the Emperor's castle. My grandpa and his fellow soldiers were photographed in front of a stonewall.
I thought that this stonewall still existed, and when I went to Tokyo to attend the national conferences, I visited the Emperor's castle to find the place where my grandpa and his fellows took the photograph. The castle is quite large and it takes lots of time to look round. I visited two times to find the place, however, I couldn't find it. The stonewall may have been destroyed or it locates in the restricted area.
|My grandpa is sitting on the ground at the right end of the front row|
|Another photo (no information of time, place or situation)|
I want to transmit the story I heard from my grandpa to my grandchildren and posterity.
(Unfortunately, I have not grandchildren yet.)